The Philadelphia 76ers unsurprisingly opened as a series favorite over the New York Knicks, -110 to -130 at sportsbook apps in NJ and PA sports betting apps.

The odds makers listed the Sixers as the third favorite to win the Eastern Conference due to Joel Embiid’s return, and some books have them as the second favorite in the East behind the Boston Celtics following Giannis Antetokounmpo’s injury.

The Knicks had a 3-1 edge in the regular-season series, but as everyone is quick to point out, the one loss came in the lone contest Embiid appeared in against New York. Embiid is 16-3 in his career against the Knicks, and a reason to feel confident about the Sixers’ prospects in the first-round series.

New York being without Julius Randle, even though he’s been out for an extended period of time, is a big blow for the series because it takes one star out of the matchup.At their best, Embiid and Tyrese Maxey can neutralize Jalen Brunson’s scoring output and force the Knicks’ supporting cast to thrive in order to capture the series.

There are all sorts of ways to wager on the series as a whole, outside of the straight money line.

The Sixers are +140 on the series spread of -1.5 and +370 to win the series by 2.5 games.

Since 2017, the Sixers’ opening-round series have gone to six games only once. The other five series have either been 4-0 or 4-1 results. The extended series have not happened until the second round.

The Knicks do not have much recent playoff history to go off. They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-1, in the first round last year and then lost 4-1 to the Atlanta Hawks in 2021. That’s the entirety of the data from the last decade.

There are all sorts of ways to bet the exact results of the series as well, but the best prop angle could be DraftKings’ series player props offerings. You can bet on the points, threes, rebounds, and assists leaders in each playoff series.

The Sixers and Knicks odds are not up as of posting, but we have a good idea of which players to target in each category.

Embiid, Maxey, and Brunson should be the only points leader targets because, well duh.

Josh Hart and Tobias Harris are two names to watch on the rebounds leader market. Harris pulled down 10 rebounds on Wednesday and could benefit if Embiid is locked in a battle with Isaiah Hartenstein down low. Hart has done everything for the Knicks since Randle went down and he averaged more than 8.5 rebounds per game in each of the last three months.

Maxey is worth the look as the threes and assists leader. He went 6-for-17 from three-point range in his last two games against the Knicks. The attempts will be there and the shots should come easier with no zone defense to worry about.

Nicolas Batum is going to be a popular pick in any player prop market because of his 20-point explosion on Wednesday night, but I would advise caution on that front. This applies to every NBA playoff series. A lot of the role player usage is matchup-dependent and Game 2 may be the better time to put any trust behind Batum, Kyle Lowry and others because their roles will be more defined compared to a one-off success story.